Ambassador expresses hope for further Korea-UAE cooperation

20 March 2020

The successful cooperation between South Korea and the United Arab Emirates in building the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi has opened a new avenue for further collaboration between the countries in global nuclear power markets, South Korea's ambassador to the UAE said this week.

Kwon Yongwoo in a still from his interview with WAM (Image: WAM)

"We hope that we can move into the next stage. South Korea and the UAE could collaborate in entering the nuclear power markets of third countries," Kwon Yongwoo told Emirates News Agency WAM.

The four-unit Barakah nuclear power plant has been built by a South Korean consortium. Fuel loading was completed at Barakah unit 1 earlier this month.

No official talks about collaboration in overseas projects have yet taken place, Kwon said. "But given our advanced technological capabilities in nuclear power generation, Korea is a new power to be reckoned with in this sector. Therefore, we will have more opportunities in future," he said, adding that he hoped South Korea could "utilise such opportunities together with the UAE".

"Barakah is important for Korea because it is our first ever overseas nuclear power project. It has been Korea's first experience of building a nuclear power plant in a new environment," Kwon said. "This has proved Korea’s capability as a provider of advanced and reliable nuclear technology. That’s why we think we will have good opportunities in future. We are capable of undertaking such hard projects in this region."

The leaders of South Korea and the UAE have previously said they will seek opportunities to cooperate in nuclear energy beyond the Barakah project, including in third countries, and in 2018 established a ofstrategic partnership.

The Barakah cooperation has boosted all areas of bilateral relations between South Korea and the UAE, Kwon said. Such trade stood at USD13 billion in 2019, he said, adding there was "great potential to do more".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News